From the unusual, like dog-sledding to the more traditional winter activities, such as skiing and skating, winter is a great time to visit Canada, especially for the adventurous. Also, Canada boasts some of the world's best and biggest winter festivals.
Try one of these 10 ways to enjoy the Canadian winter and you won't believe how good a mug of hot chocolate or glass of mulled red wine tastes afterwards.
1. Visit One of Canada's Famous Ski Resorts
Read Top 10 Ski / Snowboard Resorts in Canada
2. Stay in the Quebec Ice Hotel, just outside Quebec City
Quebec Ice Hotel is rebuilt each year, opening its doors from January to the beginning of April. The walls are 4 feet thick and insulate the hotel to a crisp but comfortable 28° to 23° Fahrenheit (-2° to –5° Celsius). Visitors may choose to just pass through for a tour and a drink at the ice bar or stay overnight.
Find out what it's like to stay at the Quebec Ice Hotel.
3. Take the Kids to Québec Winter Carnival, Quebec City
Today, the Québec Winter Carnival is the biggest winter carnival in the world and is celebrated annually at the end of January until mid-February. The event is staged largely for families to enjoy and they come out in droves to embrace and celebrate the cold. Aside from accommodation, a trip to Québec Winter Carnival costs relatively little in that one $10 pass per person gets the holder access to most activities.
4. Skate the Rideau Canal, Ottawa
- Skateway generally opens in January/Feburary when the canal is sufficiently frozen and safe for skaters.
- Skate rental and sharpening and boot check are available.
- Also available for rent are sleighs in which children can sit and adults can push along the canal.
- Check the Rideau Canal Skateway website for details.
5. Visit Winterlude, Ottawa
Check out the Winterlude Visitors Guide for dates and details.
6. Go Dogsledding
- Call of the Wild is an award-winning, established adventure team that offers dogsledding excursions and year-round adventures.
- Dog Sled Canada is a resource for finding dogsled outfitters countrywide as well as winter camping and snowshoeing.
7. Take a Winter Rail Vacation, Vancouver - Calgary
Canadian Winter Train Vacations that range from the leisurely to the downright luxurious. Vacations include train travel to/from Vancouver/Calgary, transportation to and between Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise plus opportunity to explore some of the magnificent scenery and two great Canadian cities.
8. Try Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is both a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors and an effective and gentle form of exercise. Many ski resorts and winterized lodges provide or rent snowshoes for casual outings, or try a more challenging overnight adventure - maybe stay in an igloo. The truly adventurous may want to go Heli Snowshoeing, where clients are taken to beautiful and remote locations.
9. Go Ice Fishing
Canada Ice Fishing Lodges, Resorts, and Outfitters Guide
Tips for Ice Fishing in Canada
10. Enjoy one of Canada's Many Winter Light Festivals
- Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls
- Christmas Lights across Canada, Ottawa
- Toronto Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto
- Vancouver Festival of Lights, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver
- Airdrie Festival of Lights, Airdrie (35 km or 22 miles from Calgary)
- The Montreal High Lights Festival includes wining and dining as well as a Celebration of Light festival.
Article written by Jane McLean, About.com Guide
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